The man who had his 2005 murder conviction and death penalty sentence overturned by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2007 was back in Caddo District Court today to schedule a new trial.
Caddo District Judge Michael A. Pitman set Sept. 12, 2011 as the day Robert Glen Coleman will once again be tried for the first degree murder of the Rev. Julian Brandon. Brandon was shot and stabbed multiple times during a home invasion in his Blanchard home.
Coleman and his girlfriend, Brandy Holmes, robbed Julian and Alice Brandon in their home on New Yearís 2003. Brandon died from gunshot and stab wounds. Mrs. Brandon was shot in the head and survived but never made a full recovery. The couple was found four days after the attack.
The prosecutionís evidence included blood on Colemanís boots and jewelry taken in the robbery that was found at the house where Coleman and Holmes were staying.
The defense contested guilt by arguing someone else robbed and killed the Brandons with Holmes. When Mrs. Brandon was found four days after she was shot, a witness said she said two white men had robbed them.
Coleman was first tried and found guilty by a Caddo Parish jury in February 2006. Subsequently, he was given the death penalty. His conviction, however, was thrown out in a split decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court in November 2007, and a new trial was ordered.
The majority opinion of the court was that a black man was improperly excluded from the original jury in violation of a prohibition of excluding jurors on the basis of race.
Colemanís girlfriend, Brandy Holmes, was tried separately and was also found guilty. The Louisiana Supreme Court upheld her conviction and she is one of two females currently awaiting the death penalty in Louisiana.